This year again we have posted to our website the various communications that our friends and customers have always enjoyed.
A Nativity letter below
A Brochure of suggested Icons, books, CDs and gifts for the season
St. Isaac's Annual Newsletter
Donation Appeal - Nativity 2008
Our Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We all love and cherish that which we hold most dear. This is where our treasure is and where we return again in our hopes and thoughts for this “apple-of-our-eye” drives much of our inward and outward actions, words, and ideas. Many dream of riches or success, often of a perfect person to complete them in a most special way, others of some professional work that can fulfill their ambition to express themselves artistically or practically where their interests lie. These are the hopes and dreams of mankind in our present humanness. What is more than this is not just of earth, but more—far more.
Our hopes and dreams are ideals that can be images of what we wish to be, and that we will use as guideposts to our journey through this world. Yet underneath all ideals and images is another Image, this One Divine that we were created to make manifest in our life in this world. This image is the Icon of Christ Incarnate that we were born to express in our individuality as a living body and soul made in the Trinitarian image and likeness of God. To make this image fully manifest and complete is the express purpose of not only Christ’s Incarnation, but our own birth in this world. Because we are made like Him, He is not just a close companion or friend, but the very breath of life in us, and the most near and dear Person that we will ever know.
So in some very real sense, Christ’s Birth each year is not only an outward Church celebration with gratitude that God has come to be with us, but much more in that it is in also mysteriously our birthday too to begin to be reborn into that Divine Image within our own heart, and the heart of every devout and practicing Christian Faithful. We say: “Christ is born! Glorify Him!” And this is true. We must also learn to not just say this, but to live it; first in remembrance as we can of these great events that are now drawing near, then in more conscious awareness of Christ’s presence as we turn again and again to the thought of Him in our minds, and at last we may enter such a state that the living and blessed Name of God resounds within our heart through much habit to continuously glorify God in the Highest. Then we are not just passive witnesses of Christ’ Nativity, but enter the Mystery of Godly incarnation itself, for God is with us. May each of us turn as we can to be with Him Who is always with us, and knows the secret thoughts of each heart. May He Himself gives us great and burning love for this sweet and lowly King born now as a little babe in Bethlehem.
This Nativity season we again are making available many beautiful and spiritual treasures to enrich our spiritual life: there are wonderful and bright icons of Christ and His Holy Ones, helpful devotional goods to deepen our spiritual practices, many spiritual books to feed our inner heart and mind with the desire for holy things and holy people, and also spiritual music to fill us with beautiful sounds that remind us of Heaven. We have included our yearly Newsletter about the Skete, Convent and Mission, and our yearly General Donation Appeal for your perusal. Please take the time now to touch and be nourished by this spiritual food set before us for this Holy Season. May we be filled with love and hope and come together again to live devoutly in the Kingdom of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
God bless you and keep you this Holy Nativity. Remember us in your prayers,
Your Brother in Christ,
Father Simeon, Abbot and Archimandrite
and the Monks of St. Isaac of Syria Skete
and the Nuns of the Convent of St. Silouan,
and the Faithful of St. Nicholas Church
and the Staff of Orthodox Byzantine Icons